By Cynthia Ayala
Cinder is still on the run, but she has a plan. Alongside her newfound friends, Scarlet, Wolf, and Thorne, Together, their daring plan to stop the royal wedding and overthrow Queen Levana, they’re just missing one thing: their hacker friend Cress who is imprisoned on a satellite by the Lunar people. When their rescue goes awry, the crew must find their way back to one another if they have any chance of saving the world and Emperor Kai.
The third novel in the young adult fantasy series Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer, published on February 4, 2014, by Feiwel & Friends, Cress continues the adventures of Cinder and her gang of misfits as they try to save Earth, the Emperor Kai, and destroy the plans of the evil Queen Levana.
Much like the previous novels, Cress is well written and continues to build the dark undertones as the series continues to expand and evolve. The Lunar Chronicles series has come so far, and the characters only continue to develop so far. That’s essential for a novel where the writer is not only introducing new characters, but it also bring in new characters point of views gives a broader scope of the events. With this technique of storytelling, the characters cannot, and more importantly, should not, sound similar. Thankfully, Meyer is talented enough to make the characters look unique with their personalities. Meyer had done that before in the previous novels and repeated the process by introducing Cress. Readers first got a glimpse of her in Cinder, but now it is her job to be the star of the novel, so to speak. Meyer has designed Cress to be entirely different from both Cinder, Scarlet and Queen Levana. Cress is an entirely new character; she is funny, girly, smart but also very timid. She stands out from the other characters in the novel but also has a strong dynamic with the other characters. Not only has Meyer designed the plot to make her fit into the story, but the way the way that Cress is built enables her to fit within the story and the other characters. Additionally, while this is also a Rapunzel retelling, so Meyer’s character has to stand out from the crowd of Rapunzel’s out there, and she does. Cress is hopelessly naïve and romantic character who is trying to find herself. That is why she fits so well in the novel alongside all the other characters.
As far as the story goes, it moves quickly. The story continues to unfold, but the pace is much faster than its predecessors moving forward with such powerful and captivating momentum. Once something climatic happens the story lurches forward to continue the story. However, that’s not to say that it’s just action packed adventure, Meyer slows the story down here and there to give the reader a moment to breathe and register what they have just read. However, that momentum she has weaved between the lines, it keeps the reader hooked to the story, it keeps the reader wanting more and more, unable to put the book down. When you add to that the wonderful interactions, body language, characterization, dialogue and even beautifully written facial expressions, making this an incredibly entertaining novel to read and while darker than Cinder or Scarlet, the humor and love aren’t lost in the story, making it yet another entertaining read. (★★★★☆ | B+)